PULLMAN, Wash. — The Washington State University College of Pharmacy and WSU Spokane have finalized arrangements to move the third year of pharmacy’s professional degree program to Spokane starting in fall of 2002. The fourth year of the doctor of pharmacy program is already based at WSU Spokane, which will leave the program’s first two years, along with the first two years of pre-pharmacy classes, located at Pullman.

“The decision is based on a recommendation from the faculty,” according to College of Pharmacy Dean William E. Fassett. “The move will improve the quality of the program during the third professional year by increasing the one-on-one contact between pharmacy students and the Spokane-based faculty who teach most of the third year classes.”

It also increases the opportunity for interdisciplinary instruction between the pharmacy program and other WSU health sciences programs in Spokane, such as nursing, nutrition, health policy and administration, exercise science, and speech and hearing sciences.
The move is made possible by the opening of the new Health Sciences Building on WSU Spokane’s Riverpoint campus, scheduled for January.

Bill Gray, campus executive officer and dean of WSU Spokane, describes the new building as having the latest in laboratory and clinical facilities for pharmacy students.

“The opening of this facility, and the tremendous clinical opportunities provided by the medical centers in Spokane, combine to make this a win-win for everyone,” Gray said.

Third-year pharmacy students also are beginning to look for work experience in their fields, and Spokane has an array of cooperating pharmacies and health care institutions.

About 75 students will be affected by the move, but all were advised when they started the program of its possibility, Fassett said.

“The Pharmacy Student Advisory Council is being charged with the responsibility of surveying the individual and collective needs of the students to make sure their concerns are addressed,” he said.

The College of Pharmacy has had a presence in Spokane since 1970, when it developed partnerships with the hospitals there for pharmacy students to do clerkships. The first pharmacy faculty member was assigned to Spokane in 1971 and the program has evolved to where it is today, with most of the clinical faculty based there.

“We have no plans to move the first two years of the program or the basic science research department of the college to Spokane,” Fassett said.

All the pharmaceutical sciences faculty are located at WSU in Pullman, as is the college’s dean and college relations, student services and finance offices.